Posts tagged ‘water’

03/08/2013

A Breath (A Stream) – video poem

 

 

A video poem of the piece A Breath (A Stream). This video poem was filmed in the summer of 2013, and is of the upper reaches of the River Wharfe (Yorkshire Dales National Park, England).

It is one of a series of video poems made to accompany my 14 line poetry.

 

The words for the poem can be found in this collection (below).

12/04/2013

Waiting for the Swans

 

I felt the water rising up

And turn to mist around my tongue.

I slipped and fell, the mist fell too,

And up the waters rose within.

 

I lay beneath and dreams became.

I saw the sun, I heard the moon.

It whispered solitude and turned

The mists and waters through my bones.

 

I held the fish within my chest,

A flicking heart to measure years.

And hooks and wires began to tie

My ankles, wrists, my empty eyes.

 

But soon the swans will pull me free,

And let me rise again to see.

 

 

11/04/2013

A Breath (A Stream)

 

The simple contact of the stream,

A touch of ice which fell as rain

And soaked the paws of hunting wolves.

A mix of mists condensed on ferns.

 

The breath of trees through ancient leaves

Which hid a thousand goshawk nests,

And oaks on oaks have hidden more,

And added streams to other streams.

 

Around the fish the waters flow,

And through the water spectrum’s bend,

And in those prisms histories meld,

And through those pasts the fish still breathe.

 

I run my fingers through the stream,

And all is now, and always was.

 

 

11/04/2013

The Water Lathe

 

From minds creating waterfalls,

In fields of buttercups and flies,

The start of summer crashes in,

And breaks the stream of forming words.

 

Those thoughts which capture pike in webs –

Suspended from the highest boughs –

Are linking up connections dead,

A million human years or more.

 

So summon fish and burst the banks,

And cast about the newborn springs.

The lathe is working hard on dreams,

To join the lakes and neural paths,

 

And everything connects and splits:

This heaven Earth has Eden streams.

 

 

for Ursula Le Guin

 

10/04/2013

The Spirit of the River

 

She spent her life apart from folk,

And all her dreams were river dreams.

She watched the weed which hid the pike.

She crept through rushes by the streams.

 

As winter drew the evenings in,

She’d bend the willow, thread the sedge,

And sleep beneath the branches bowed,

As warm as otter, curled as mink.

 

On mornings, white with frost and snow,

She’d break the ice which formed in rings

Up by the bank where water’s slow,

And find the haunts of torpid trout.

 

She’s spent her life – and spends it still –

In river dreams, in drifting free.

 

 

10/04/2013

Revenge of the Spirit Fish

 

They come at night, the spirit fish,

With lanterns through the channel darks,

And ask the shore to give them back

The hooks, disgorgers, floats and line.

 

They make their dolls from wasted casts,

And form the hollow human shapes.

Beneath the overhanging trees

They cough their empty, gaping chants.

 

And somewhere sleeping, dreaming dry,

An angler turns and gasps and chokes.

A mouth drops open, feels the tug

Of barbless bronze and foaming blood.

 

The spirit fish will take their share:

They catch their quota, make things fair.

 

10/04/2013

Dead Calm

 

We never spoke about the end –

The evening out of light and shade –

But always there the fall of doubts

That soon the shade would take the light.

 

A trace of blood from deep inside,

A simple tap, a twitch then gone.

How quickly life can pass away,

Though sometimes worse: its clinging on.

 

We missed the intervening years:

From silence, back to innocence.

A final flicker in the dark

And that was all that could be done.

 

And sometimes face to face is best,

But never face to face with death.

 

 

10/04/2013

Dusk

The world is calm – a forest set

Is warmed and lazed with hanging flies.

A roe deer tiptoes off through fern.

A stock dove picks its roosting beech.

 

A willow dapples evening pools

And hides a hunter in the shade.

A sycamore suffused with bronze

Provides the cloak for rising roach.

 

Beneath the skin the skittered prey:

The rudd, the gudgeon, dace and fry.

Amongst the reeds the lurking perch

Keep eyes for minnows, eyes for pike.

 

The water, stars, the earth, and gold:

Between these states we quiver on.

 

 

10/04/2013

Skimmer Bream

 

The water holds its silence close,

Its umber mirrors otherworlds.

The slightest tremble flows and flits

Across refracted depths of sky.

 

Beneath the cold and airless sky,

Where time has lost its tick and grip,

Instead is wrapped on water’s breath,

A melancholy wreath of death.

 

And then the flash of silver hope,

The broken skin, internal light,

A contact made, an instant forged,

A flickered possibility,

 

Through boundaries shattered by the breach

Of rippled air and earth and fish.

 

26/01/2013

The Waters of the Acheron Gorge (Walk No.1)

 

The storm had turned the river white,

And everywhere the waters flowed.

The plain trees dripped and deadwood drenched,

A thousand springs welled through the rock.

 

We took the river, cold and deep,

And waded past Achilles’ stream.

Our footsteps on the gravel bed,

The same as heroes, gods and men.

 

And from the water, plants and air

We sensed a deeper current there:

The flood would usher in the heat,

And Demeter would swell the fields.

 

From facts we walked, from knowledge fixed.

Then – story drenched – emerged in myths.

 

 

24/07/2012

The Song of Ondine (Completed)

Poems of the water elemental

The Song of Ondine (Poems for Oxfam)

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24/07/2012

The Song of Ondine (Water’s Song)

 

The song of blood, the song of snow.

In cliffs are waves on ocean shores.

The rain on moorland flows as streams

A thousand generations hence.

 

The song of forests, song of caves.

A home you made, a love you built.

The questions you forgot to ask.

The truth of birds which sing at dawn.

 

The song of stories, song of hearts.

The boat which drifts, the sadness born.

A simple meal in alpine fields.

The door which you have left unlocked.

 

The song she sang when she was free:

The song of rivers, lakes and seas.

24/07/2012

The Song of Ondine (The Cost)

 

She wasn’t singing for the Earth,

She wasn’t singing for the Air,

She wasn’t singing for our lives,

So no, we didn’t hear the song.

 

But villages were swept away,

And islands sank beneath the waves,

And deltas spread and countries shrank,

And still we didn’t hear the song.

 

And drinking water filled with salt,

And wars were fought for muddy wells,

And millions were left to rot,

And still we didn’t hear the song.

 

Our links have broken, language lost,

Without the song we count the cost.

23/07/2012

The Song of Ondine (Limestone Dales)

 

In waterfalls she tuned her voice,

In shallows rippled hymns of time.

She reeled through centuries of song,

Her verses passed like drops of rain.

 

Around the foss her singing hung:

In spray and ramsons, sun and moss.

Her music saturated rock,

And flowed in watercress and fern.

 

Her songs were drawn from morning mists,

And dreaming states which swirl at dawn,

From deep in limestone birthing streams,

From ancient rains, forgotten tones.

 

In fluid walls and melting stones,

In liquid landscapes she still flows.

19/07/2012

The Song of Ondine (The Soulless)

 

Her soul was water flowing bright.

Her soul was seeping through the marsh.

Her soul was mist in morning light.

Her soul was surf on shingle beach.

 

The men believed she had no soul.

They spoke her, wrote her, sold their tales.

They choked the water, dammed and stole.

They tried to fix her into deals.

 

Her song was creeping through their homes.

Her song was undermining pasts.

Her song was eating at their bones.

Her song was first, her song was last.

 

The men believed in distant souls.

They didn’t hear her song as theirs.

17/07/2012

The Song of Ondine (Parts I – V)

The Song of Ondine

The first five poems of the series The Song of Ondine (for Oxfam, Skipton)

14/07/2012

The Song of Ondine (The Gift)

 

She gave her songs to forest lakes,

Where autumn larch in echoes sang.

The golden tremors of the fall

Went rippling through her melodies.

 

She gave her songs to crumbling walls,

Where hoopoes nest and stonechats chack.

And ancient stonework melts in rain

As surely as the spring brings change.

 

She gave her song to English parks,

To channelled streams and sculpted weirs,

To jackdaw nests in roofless naves,

And drips from leaves of tulip trees.

 

She gave her songs to form and shape,

As gifts of love we always take.

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10/07/2012

The Song of Ondine (Amvrakikos Gulf)

 

She used to sing her richest songs

To fishermen who’d lay their traps,

And buffalo who’d turn the swamps,

And bitterns who would stalk the reeds.

 

The warm lagoons would take her voice

And echo back the melodies:

The tone of sedge, of wave, of scrub,

The cleanest, purest, wash of sound.

 

She’d breathe her charms beyond the reach,

Where pelicans would clack their beaks.

This paradise between our worlds,

Between the water, land and greed.

 

What’s lost is truth beyond our plans,

The fragile phrases she once sang.

08/07/2012

The Song of Ondine (Part 1)

 

Beneath the surface of our time

The water works and spreads her song:

In patterned carpets, drifted, dripped,

In crumbled brickwork, lyrics worn.

 

She lives outside the centuries –

The business hours, the closing times.

The lives just pass her by like drips,

As moments in a steady fall.

 

The questions that she sings for us:

Renewal from the slow decay,

The dampness in the air which hangs,

Will last beyond the building’s walls.

 

The steady tap of rain on glass:

The song of lives, the song of pasts.